Kerala floods: When dogs turned guardian angels

Janaki Amma and Sally Varma feeding the dog and goats after they survived the floods at Nedumkayam colony on Saturday.  

Five pet dogs owned by a woman of Nedumkayam tribal colony, near Nilambur, have survived the floods that submerged the colony, and given us one of the biggest lessons of coexistence and beneficence.

The dogs took care of the 47 goats and a brood of hens reared by Janaki Amma. The dogs became the guardian angels for the flock of goats as the entire colony remained under water for four days.

Exposed to the elements, the dogs, goats and hens starved together for four days.

Also read: Dog that became symbol of loyalty at Kavalappara rescued

When floodwaters rose, the dogs guided the goats to higher grounds.

The dogs carried the four goat kids in their mouth to higher places to save them from drowning.

Janaki Amma and her family had to leave their house in neck-deep water when the rains opened their floodgates on August 8. She was forced to leave her 47 goats, five dogs, and the brood of hens back in the floods. But she left their cages open. When she returned home from the relief camp after four days, the dogs, goats and hens were seen huddled together. “All of them were very hungry, almost on the verge of collapse. Yet, they took care of each other, giving us one of the biggest lessons of camaraderie,” said Sally Varma, Humane Society International (HIS) outreach coordinator, who examined the animals and provided 100 kg goat feed and 50 kg dog food.

Also read: When rain birthed a ravaging river through this Nilambur village

Janaki Amma’s son Kalesh said that his family had faith in their dogs that they would not only stay away from causing any harm to the goats but also protect them from the floodwaters the best possible way they could.


“It was an amazing sight of coexistence we ought to learn from them. When I brought them food, all three groups were seen eating voraciously from the same container,” said Ms. Varma.

The HIS reached out to the tribal family with animal food at a time when no dog food or goat feed was available in the markets around, most of which were ravaged by the floods. “When we approached, Janaki Amma accepted the food for the animals alone. She refused to accept anything for her family. ,” said Ms. Varma.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 1:33:31 AM |

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